BY KAREN SUROS
On Saturday, March 3, select students represented Cooper City High School at the World Languages Competition. The competition took place from 8 to 11 a.m. at Piper High School.
Since CCHS only offers French and Spanish, students only participated in the competitions for those two languages. However, other languages were involved in the competition, including German and Italian.
“I want … my students to gain confidence in the second language that they are learning, feel proud to represent their school and be able to achieve the Seal of Biliteracy,” Spanish teacher Debra Mensinger said.
The competition kicked off with an opening ceremony. Assistant Principal of Piper High School Colleen Hogan gave a few words of encouragement to the participants. Cypress Bay High School gave a presentation including traditional Chinese dragons and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students performed a salsa dance for the crowd. Finally, the announcers directed participants to their designated classroom based on their foreign language. Parents were allowed at the opening ceremony, but the classrooms where competitions took place were reserved for competitors and judges alone. Winners will be announced next week.
“I want … my students to gain confidence in the second language that they are learning.”
The competition consisted of four categories: declamation, impromptu speech, project and talent. A school must be entered into at least three categories to win.
“I look forward [to] students [being] prepared, knowing the expectation before they come in,” Spanish 3 judge Laura Mendez said. “[What stands out the most to me in contestants are] students that are learning a third language and want to learn and emerge in other cultures. I hope that students [take away] that there are other students across our district that also share the same passion and respect for their culture and other cultures around the world.”
Declamation requires participants to memorize a poem. For Spanish 1 students, it had to be between 30 and 45 seconds; for Spanish 2 students, it could be between 45 seconds and one minute and 30 seconds; for Spanish 3 and above, it had to be a minimum of two minutes long.
For the impromptu speech category, contestants were given three questions to choose from, two minutes to prepare their answer and two minutes to deliver their answers. An example of a question a student may have received is, “What do you like to do with your friends after school and why?”
“It was my first time competing and I am very happy with what I did.”
When it came to the project category, students were tasked with creating a poster based on this year’s theme, which was “Navigating the Path to Biliteracy.”
The talent portion involved students performing something traditionally Hispanic, whether it was dancing the salsa or bachata or singing a song in Spanish.
“I participated in the talent, declamation and impromptu categories,” sophomore Katarina Esquivel said. “I gained from the experience more confidence and [it was] also engaging to see classmates from around the county participate in this competition, as well.”
Participating in this competition offers students the opportunity to display their knowledge and skill in their second language.
“It was my first time competing and I am very happy with what I did,” Esquivel said.
Photo by Kayla Florenco